Bristol hosted its first national race equality conference last month, with leaders from across government, public and private sectors gathering to celebrate the progress made in tackling racial inequality and discuss how remaining challenges can be overcome.

Organised by Bristol City Council, Bristol Festival of Ideas, Bristol One City Office and the Cabinet Office’s Race Disparity Unit, the conference showcased many examples of successful cross-sector practices that have been established.

It also focused on those most persistent challenges that remain – challenges which continue to prevent many people from diverse ethnic or social backgrounds from achieving their full potential.

As part of this focus, delegates heard about one of the keys that Bristol City Council itself has been using to unlock and release local talent – data and analysis. Bristol is the first city in the country to use its national framework to develop an award-winning tool that collects and analyses local data to diversify the city’s own public sector workforces.

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “A city’s greatest assets are its people and one of Bristol’s greatest strengths is its diversity. Our melting pot of language, culture, skills and experiences make us a centre for creative thought and action. While that diversity is celebrated, our version of the RDA also highlights the significant inequalities that ethnic minority communities continue to face – inequalities that restrict their education and employment opportunities.

“Tackling this is not only the moral thing to do but it makes good economic sense too. Unlocking the city’s full potential would bring countless benefits to all, but it can only be done by working together, across sectors, and at all levels.

“We’ve laid solid foundations in Bristol upon which to build lasting legacies for all communities to benefit from. From bringing on diverse talents through ‘Stepping Up’ to establishing one clear city commitment to an equality charter, and using data to go back to basics to better understand the challenge we face – we are a city forging ahead and want to work with others to craft concrete ideas to deliver tangible change.”

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